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Barefoot food-coconut milk dumplings

coconut milk dumplings

Jamaican barefoot food: Coconut milk dumplings cooked in coconut milk, seasoned with scallion, onion, and hot pepper, is so delicious.

Barefoot food in Jamaica means no meat is eaten with the food, no meat in terms of red meat, chicken, seafood neither vegetables. The food is cooked and eaten without any of that. This has nothing to do with eating healthy, but everything to do with poverty/poorness/living below the poverty line.

A lot of older professional Jamaicans will tell you that they grow up eating barefoot food because their parents couldn't afford to buy salting (meat is called salting in Jamaica)so, they tun their hands- and- mek- fashion (They cook what they have, but they try to make it palatable enough to eat) A lot of these Jamaicans grow up to be lawyers, doctor, pilot. You name it. Food does not maketh a man.

One such barefoot food usually cooked back in the days is dumpling boiled in coconut milk. I cook dumpling boiled in coconut milk often but not because I cannot afford to buy meat, I like it because it is sweet.

These barefoot dumplings are really delicious, especially when served hot. You can cook this on a day when you want to avoid meat. However, coconut milk dumpling goes well with fried corned pork, curried chicken or steamed fish.

coconut milk dumpling

I used coconut and not the commercially brought coconut milk or cream but do what suits you


1 lb. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup coconut milk
Salt to taste
1 stalk scallion, chopped
Piece of hot pepper and onion, chopped finely

1. In a bowl, add flour and 1/8 tsp. salt. Use water to mix flour into a dough, cover dough with a damp towel and let it rest (The damp towel will retain moisture in the dough, so that the dumplings will be soft.)

2.  Pour coconut milk into a medium-size pot. Add salt  to taste. Add the scallion, onion and hot pepper. Put the pot on high heat, covered and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, half cover the pot to prevent spilling over( Half cover the pot means that the pot is not fully covered. When the pot is off covered, air can go into it, and this will prevent spillage.)

3. Allow the coconut milk to boil until reduced to more than half (about 10 minutes) Make some small dumplings. Put the dumplings into the pot. Stir to prevent the dumplings from sticking on each other. Cook dumplings until coconut milk reduced to custard. Remove from heat and serve hot.


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